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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Growing Pains: The Emergence of E-Learning by Annie Hayes

E-learning has enjoyed a love-hate relationship with most learning and development departments since its advent, and has experienced a fair few teething problems along the way; yet more and more are falling under its spell.
If you are reading this you may already have a burgeoning interest in e-learning or at least a growing level of curiosity. You may also have an idea of what you think it is, but as the concept gets ever more complex the definition becomes as changeable as it does. One accepted definition is any type of learning that is delivered, enabled or mediated using electronic technology. Today that may even mean via a blackberry or Facebook profile.

For and against e-learning


  • Available 'just in time' ad can be used continuously for learning and reference.
  • Flexibility of access from anywhere at anytime.
  • Ability to simultaneously reach an unlimited number of employees.
  • Uniformity of delivery of training.
  • Potential cost reductions.
  • Reduction in the time it takes to deliver training.
  • Ability to log or track learning activities.
  • Possibilities of global connectivity and collaboration opportunities.
  • Ability to personalise the training for each learner.


  • Limits of current technology infrastructure.
  • Ensuring learners have time and space to participate.
  • Providing appropriate support for learners.
  • Finding attractive, relevant and high-quality content.
  • Gaining line manager support and commitment.
  • Employee hostility towards e-learning.
  • Motivating learners to complete courses.
  • Lack of basic IT skills in the workforce.

Source: CIPD and TrainingZONE